New publication: Global nutrition policy review: What does it take to scale up nutrition action?

Malnutrition is found worldwide and is linked, either directly or indirectly, to major causes of death and disability. More than one third of all child deaths are attributable to undernutrition.

Many low- and middle-income countries, have not achieved significant reductions in underweight, stunting or vitamin and mineral malnutrition. Wasting is still widespread, and essential infant and young child feeding practices are not improving in those low- and middle-income countries. At the same time, the rates of overweight and obesity are rising.

The differences in rates of change of these indicators over time and by region indicate wide variation in the factors that are causing malnutrition in all its forms. Regional and subregional data show that a rise in child overweight is not necessarily associated with a fall in underweight or stunting.

Nutrition policies and strategies must therefore be strengthened to address the growing double burden of malnutrition, that is, undernutrition, and obesity and diet-related NCDs, and to guide the scaling-up of effective nutrition actions to address this burden.

This Global Nutrition Policy Review is based on a questionnaire survey conducted during 2009–2010, in which 119 WHO Member States and 4 territories participated.